Poor posture and incorrect body mechanics are two of the leading causes of neck and back pain. There is statistical evidence that show that industrial work-related musculoskeletal disorder are a primary cause of lost work days, productivity and revenue. The bureau of labor statistics indicates that, during the year of 2002, operators, fabricators and laborers accounted for almost 4 out of 10 injuries and illnesses. On average, workers with a back or neck injury lost 7 days of work annually and the back injuries were involved in 24% of all occupational injuries.
There was a time in the industrial shop when putting in a hard days work meant enduring a tremendous amount of pain and discomfort because of less than adequate ergonomic working conditions. Shop workers would spend all day, every day, slouched over at a folding table and a second hand office chair as a work station. The modern industrial work place has evolved and now employees and management have a much better understanding of the importance of ergonomics in the production area.
Many industrial jobs are usually physically demanding and require employees to move heavy loads or are repetitive in nature and require employees to sit or stand for extended periods of time. Many times, employees and employers are not even aware the subtle digression of their specific working condition. Even the simplest adjustment in posture and dynamic movement can develop a more healthy and productive work area.
The best way to improve working conditions, in most situations, is to incorporate an environment that encourages healthy movement and adjustability. Finding free movement that can increase comfort and efficiency can be found in a sit-to-stand work environment. Improving ergonomic conditions at work not only improve the bottom line but will enhance personal well-being for those that work day to day in a light industrial setting.
Sit-stand working is an important component of a comprehensive strategy for health and safety and liability issues. Employers can be confident that this part of their ergonomic provision reflects the highest modern standards. The opportunity to adjust working heights and change position encourages employees to listen to their body and to attend to releasing tension. The sit to stand environment also give the industrial worker a sense of choice and personal autonomy along with the freedom to move. Standing encourages a more dynamic approach which carries over into seated working. Sitting posture is then improved as well.
It is important for employers to evaluate their particular situation to determine what ergonomic products are available to improve moral and boost the bottom line. Height-adjustable work surfaces are products designed as a solution to a static work place.
Jason McAndrew is a warehouse shipping and receiving manager from Boardman Oregon. His team has been using a height-adjustable work surface in their warehouse for a number of years. “Before adding a height-adjustable table to our work place, I was definitely feeling soreness in my wrist, shoulders and neck. Since our company installed these systems, I feel much better.” Jason also works in an area where the work station is shared with a number of employees. “With four people using the same work station, there are many diverse positions of comfort. We now can adjust our computer to a height that is most comfortable for each one of us regardless of our height.”
Creating a sit to stand adjustable work environment is simple to achieve and is no longer a futuristic idea. The technology is here right now and can be incorporated into many job applications. Light industrial assembly teams with multi-shifts can share workstations and adjust the work surface to different positions that works best for each individual. There is no longer a need to have a one size fits all mentality when designing an assembly area where the workbench is static and does not adjust. The benefits of investing in a healthy height adjustable work area far out number the negative affects of a static work place. New trends in work place design require efficient space management where an entire team can utilize one video terminal or assembly work surface. Having a versatile height-adjustable workstation is no longer a luxury but an essential part of a cost effective business operation.
A light industrial area where each individual has an adjustable workstation signifies that a company is conscious of the well-being of their employees and is aware of the many financial benefits of an ergonomic friendly workplace. The occupational applications of a height adjustable lift system and ease installation and the customizing options are wide ranging. The computer and electronic manufacture to the rubber and plastic plant all have a place for height adjustable work surface.
“We have a fitness program already in place because we understand how important active physical well-being is for each individual. We also understand that a workforce that feels better works better.” Theresa is a HR manager at an electronic assembly facility. “We were able to incorporate the microscope and soldering tools we use in our small electronic assembly with our new work surface lift system. Now our employees are free to move while staying on task.”
Other applications include postal service, mail center, warehouse, distribution, printing and inventory management.
A workplace in motion is a workplace free from fixed positions that have stifled productivity for years. Just like the calculator has eliminated the need to write out mathematical equations long hand so does the addition of height-adjustable tables eliminate the need to stay seated in one position for the duration of a work day. The real benefit of using these systems in your work area is the freedom of movement. This can decrease the severity of discomfort for most upper-body regions, including the shoulders, neck, arms, and hands. 

Changing positions between sitting and standing is also a healthy way of staying fit at work. Fatigue and discomfort can now be avoided by being able to stand periodically though out the day without any loss of productivity at work. Your body knows when it is time to move or change positions and having the right equipment will allow you to make these posture changes while staying on task. People feel physically comfortable in their work environments when they have the option to move from a sitting to a standing position. This will then be more likely to generate quality work in a shorter amount of time, and also to have a more positive attitude about their jobs, contributing to overall workplace morale.
The definition of a healthy sit to stand work environment simply means that a person can sit in their existing chair for part of the day and have the freedom to adjust their work surface in order to stand for part of their day. This movement will help to increase blood flow and relieve stress from the back and shoulders. Proper ergonomic products will introduce this healthy work environment to many people.